Google has topped this year’s ‘Meaningful’ Brands ranking, compiled by Havas Group, with previous winner Samsung falling to fifth spot in the wake of its Galaxy Note 7 product recall.
The study, last carried out in 2015, seeks to discover the link between brand performance and the quality of consumers’ lives and wellbeing. It spanned 300,000 people, 1,500 brands and 33 countries.
Digital and technology brands dominate the ranking, with Google in first place, followed by PayPal in second, WhatsApp in third, YouTube fourth and Samsung in fifth – the Korean firm down five places after having to recall its Note handset in the wake of battery problems.
The rest of the top 10 comprises Mercedes-Benz, Nivea, Microsoft, Ikea and Lego.
According to Havas, the ‘Meaningful Brands’ making its 2017 ranking outperform the stock market by 206%, up from 133% in 2015.
The study also found that brand content plans are too often failing to ignite the interest of consumers. Respondents said that some 60% of content created by brands is “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver”.
Maria Garrido, Havas Media Group’s global chief insights and analytics officer, said: “For 2017, we’ve used the statistical might behind Meaningful Brands to gain a better understanding of the role content has for the brand and the purpose it serves for people.
“Surprisingly, the data demonstrates an alarming ineffectiveness of existing brand content. Our expectations for the role or the types of content are simply not being met.”
Yannick Bolloré, chief executive of Havas Group, added: “These results give us the same kind of wake-up call we delivered back in 2008 when we demonstrated that most people wouldn’t care if 74% of brands disappeared. For 2017 we see two new statistical facts: content’s critical role in creating brands which are meaningful to people and the underperformance in this area.
“The data is clear, brands must rapidly become better at seizing the opportunities that good content can offer – or they – and the advertising community that supports them – will struggle to survive. At Havas Group we are already using these valuable insights to better serve our clients.”